Today, I Starshine will be taking a look at the “Top 10 WTF Moments in Movies.” Keep in mind, I can only draw these moments from films I have actually seen, so if your favorite isn’t here, please tell us your picks in the comments. Also I won’t be drawing from films that are supposed to be experimental, abstract, inane, or absurdly comedic, or that attempt to present hallucinations or manifestations of mental illness or intoxication, because then the true nature of the strangeness is on purpose and therefore less shocking. Or rather, if it’s already trying to be weird then it’s not a WTF moment.
Let’s not waste anytime and get right to it.
10) Shoot First, Ask Questions Never – Burn After Reading
This Cohen brother’s film was the first of theirs I had ever seen and to say that I didn’t understand what a dark comedy was at the time would have been apt. So when I first saw this scene, shock was my first reaction, not morose amusement (though on recollecting it was). The setup was that Brad Pitt was in someone’s house, attempting to steal information before the owner returns. Hearing the door open, he hides in the closet. When he is found, he is immediately shot in the face by said owner. The literal cries of shock and WTF could be heard in the theater. No one expected Brad Pitt, the megastar of Hollywood, to get a face full of lead so immediately after that closet door swung open. Of course, it is not the most outrageous scene in the film but it was certainly the most instantly jaw dropping.
9) Did You Bring a Head for Lunch? – IT
A lot of people remember the IT miniseries and how frightening it was, at least as kids. As we got older, it didn’t hold up quite as well. But one of the scenes I remember most distinctly is one of the most bizarre, unscary, random scenes committed to film. Mind you, the film has a lot of that, including demonic fortune cookies and exploding blood bubbles. However, the specific scene I am referring to is when the group of survivors are waiting their final friend to arrive, only to hear he has killed himself. They open the fridge in the library to find his decapitated head, which starts making wise cracks about the others to their faces. Why? Well, apparently, why the fuck not? It makes no sense, nor adds anything to the story, since no one ever mentions it, or their dead friend, after this scene. After all, what good is a budget if its only used on sensical effects and plot points?
8) Possession that Kills – The Exorcist
The most famous demonic possession film of all time is of course the 1973 film The Exorcist. In fact, it is one of my favorite horror films of all time. But there’s always something that I found pretty insanely stupid about the film. In the movie, Reagan gets possessed by a demon, just cause, but with all that happens to her physical body, she should be dead. For one, her head spun all way around, which should have broken her neck and severed her spinal connection. It’s still a very human body, it’s susceptible to the laws of anatomy. Two, she stabbed herself in the crotch area with a crucifix which at best would leaver her infertile (it was really getting it up there) and at worst, she would get a massive infection which would likely kill her. After all, its not like they could get her to take medication. Hell, after all she goes through, she would be horribly maimed and disfigured at a very, very minimum. You could always cover it by saying that God made her better but I’m calling bullshit on this one. Poor excuses are poor. She would have never survived, thus making he majority of the film a WTF moment.
7) Circular Bullet Tract – Wanted
The moments in the movie could fill up a list like this by itself, but the most ridiculous, unbelievable, nonsensical bullshit moments in this film happens near the end. In the film’s finale, when the magical loom of destiny turns out to a sham (like it could be anything else) and Jolie realizes she and her band of assassins have been killing innocent people. So using the physics-defying-bullshit that was shown to curve bullets, Jolie uses her gun to shoot several people at once, including herself, while they are all standing on a completely circular path. Think about it for a moment – she got a bullet to travel in a perfect circle, killing at least five people, but never losing velocity, momentum or going off its trajectory. I’m not even a physics student and I KNOW that is some messed up bullshit. Well, I guess in an action movies, it’s all style and no substance.
6) Mommy Never Dies – Volver
We’re going all international here, with my own home country of Spain. Spanish cinema is…well, it’s special. Take 2 parts directors growing up in a sexually and creatively repressive dictatorship, 1 part issues with Catholicism, and add a pinch of where did my childhood go, and that’s Spanish cinema. Now, anyone who knows Pedro Almodovar knows that he makes insane movies whose plots are either non-sensical or incredibly disturbing. Volver is the former, following the story of a young Manchega woman who has to not only to deal with the corpse of her husband she’s hiding in a restaurant’s giant refrigerator, but also seeing the ghost of her mother who died in a terrible fire. Except, crazy Almodovar twist, it’s not a ghost – her mother has been alive for years. That’s right, a woman decided that for however many decades, she was going to pretend to be dead rather than be a mother to her kids. Why? Cause her husband was having an affair with another woman, and that other woman was the one who died in the fire – she didn’t want anyone to know she had caused it and because they all assumed it was her who died, she went along with it. Really, movie? You think a mother would really act like that, not even telling her own daughters, who loved and needed her, that she was still alive? BULLSHIT. Even more bullshit? She reveals herself by stowing away in the trunk of her other daughter’s car.
5) Heart-Ribbon – Manon des Sources
That’s right, I put a French film on here, that’s just the kind of critic I am. But really, even at its downright silliest, French cinema is pretty great. But this film, the popular sequel to the Depardieu film Jean de Florette, proves that even though French films can be classy, they can also be batshit insane. During the film, the main character Manon loses a ribbon, which is stolen by the grotesque Ugolin, who is in love with her. So, what does he do with it? Not smell it, or sleep with it, or touch himself with it, like a normal creepy man. No, he decides to keep it near to his heart by literally sewing it into his chest. I am totally serious – he takes a needle and thread and very painfully sews into his skin. In. Graphic. Detail. Even worse, later in the film, he shows it to Manon, because that’s how you win a girl’s affections, or at least a killer infection.
4) Johnny’s Magic Blood Volcano – A Nightmare on Elm Street
One of the horror movie classics, the original A Nightmare of Elm Street has some of the most iconic death scenes in film history. But the most bizarre and disturbing one was that of Johnny Depp’s character. Dragged into the bed after falling asleep, a sudden geyser of blood spouts out from the void in his bed, when his mother walks in an sees it, defying gravity and covering the whole ceiling. First off, this scene, beyond being really creepy, is also too unbelievable for its own good. While yes, Freddie can kill people in the real world so long as they sleep, he can’t defy the laws of nature in the real world, so the fact that the blood is spilling all over the ceiling is impossible, especially since we known his mother saw it. Two, no human body contains that copious amount of blood. And finally three, why does no one wonder about any of this? How come this seems so natural to the police involved, to his parents? Why is no one like “This is some crazy supernatural shit, how could this happen?” Oh Johnny, if only your teen-heartthrob self had a less WTF exit than that.
3) Nuts to That – Hard Candy
Oh, Ellen Page, before you were famous for being in a hipster-esque teen pregnancy flick, you starred as the jailbait, sadistic avenger in this film. And man did you put the audience through a literal hell with one of the most disturbing scenes where you never actually see anything. In fact, that’s what makes it so creepy. Page restrains and drugs a pedophile and murderer and castrates him…or so she says. Throughout the procedure we see nothing – in fact, the only way we know what’s going on is through occasional dialogue and specific sounds. The scene is drawn out and the tension grows and grows to uncomfortable rates – I know my male friends all squirmed uncomfortably. In fact, rather than shouting and screaming at her to stop, the room was dead silent. That’s how WTF this scene was – it was almost too shocking to believe a 15 year old girl would be actually castrating someone. But the big twist? She never actually does it. She just makes him think she has by using clips and rubber bands to make the blood flow stop. That moment had me, and many others, completely flabbergasted. Well played, Hard Candy, well played.
2) Tree-Rape – The Evil Dead
Oh, this movie. I’ll be talking about it very, very soon since the remake will be coming out shortly and I may or may not have to fight for your honor on the Internet critic battlefield. However, it looks like they will be keeping this iconic, but shocking scene which occurs early in the film. See, the film is an homage to the horror films of old, so it was bound to have to crazy shit, but no one expected this. Within the first couple minutes of the film, one of the protagonists Cheryl is raped by the vines of demonically possessed trees, for no other reason other than to torture her. And you thought that was the type of shit that only went down in hentai anime. It’s pretty graphic and gruesome, not to mention seems incredibly painful, and literally comes right out of nowhere. In fact, even with all that happens in the rest of the film, I still think this is one of, if not the single, most shocking and twisted thing to happen. Man Raimi, you are kind of sick. I’m surprised we got off so lightly with the Spiderman films.
1) Remote Control Magic – Funny Games (2007)
Bet you didn’t think I could beat those last two, but damn if directors, writers, and producers don’t love to prove us all wrong. To you, dear readers, I present the most angering, confusing, out of left field scene ever committed to any film I have seen. Oh Henke, why did you do this? The original 1997 film you made did a lot of fourth wall breaking, but not in this one. Essentially, the plot of the film is two young men who enter a family’s home and start terrorizing and killing them. At one point, the mother (here played by Naomi Watts) grabs a shotgun and shoots one of the assailants. Angry and in despair, the other grabs the remote control, hits rewind, and everything is back to normal. SERIOUSLY. WHY. This is never brought up before or after, it makes no sense in the context of the universe, and it’s so confusing and irritating! Is it supposed to be a wink to the original? There is little to no fourth wall breaking in this version of the film, so why put it in towards the end with no explanation??? When I first saw this, I literally screamed and threatened to throw the TV out of the window. It makes no sense, and honestly, WTF is too mild a term to describe. Stick to artsy dramatic films Henke, for everyone’s sanity.